How To Avoid Procrastinating For The GMAT

By Victoria Robertson on November 11, 2015

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

It’s the test of all tests, and you’re nowhere near ready to take it. Right?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is no easy obstacle, and one that you have to study for, without a doubt. But if you’re anything like the majority of the college population, you’re a professional procrastinator, and it’s going to bite you in the butt.

So how exactly do you avoid procrastination fever? Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Make a schedule.

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Creating a schedule for your studying needs is the best way to get ahead of procrastination. Because you need to start studying well in advance of the test, use a separate calendar just meant for keeping track of your studying progress.

The sooner you create this, the less likely you are to procrastinate. If there’s a set start date that you’ll begin studying, you’re less likely to end up cramming a month before the test.

Think of it as a countdown of sorts, so that you’re able to enjoy your life before you need to worry about studying.

2. Think ahead.

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If there’s a holiday or special occasion coming up, don’t expect to study the normal amount. Odds are, you’re not going to.

So plan ahead for those days in your schedule – study a little more the day before or the day after, or spread the hours out for several days, so it doesn’t feel like you’re studying twice as much on a given day.

If you think ahead and plan accordingly, you’ll be able to enjoy your events and stay on top of your studying.

3. Lighten the load.

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As I said above, a lot of procrastination avoidance comes from thinking ahead. If you aren’t thinking into the future, you’re far more likely to procrastinate (even accidentally).

So to begin preparing now, be sure that you’re on top of your other classes, even working ahead when you can. By doing so, you minimize your obligations later on when it comes time to take your test.

Also, if possible, lighten your course load at the time of your test. Try to avoid a full schedule if you can.

You can always ask your boss for less hours during the week, cram your schedule with plans with your friends beforehand (so you won’t want to during your studying sessions) and make sure you’re caught up on all of your TV shows.

The less you have going on during your allotted studying time, the less likely you are to put it off.

4. Stay offline.

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The number one reason for procrastination is Facebook. That’s not entirely true. But while you’re online, whether it’s on your phone, laptop, desktop, tablet or Xbox, it’s stopping you from studying.

Get it out of your system by checking your social media sites or scanning Buzzfeed before you start studying. That way, you won’t be tempted because you’re already updated on the latest and greatest in your friend’s newsfeed.

If John and Brittany broke up, you already know it, so there’s no need to check it out while you’re studying.

5. Turn everything off.

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Odds are, you’re going to ignore the above advice, or you’re going to feel obligated to see if there are any updates on social media since the last time you checked. It’s sad, but true.

So if you’re pretty sure you’re one of those people, turn all your devices off. Turn off the phone, the Wi-Fi, the TV, everything.

That way, if you’re tempted later, you’re reminded that you need to be studying by the blank screen on your electronic devices, and guilted into studying again.

It’s a system that works, most of the time. For those of you that turn the devices back on to check on things, I can’t help you – you may be too far gone.

6. Leave.

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Last, and probably most effectively, you can leave. Going to the local library, an empty classroom, or even sitting on the Quad, these all tend to make you much more productive than you would be sitting in your bed, surrounded by distractions.

Sometimes a roommate will walk in and want to talk, or your phone will ring or there’s a show you like on TV. At the library, these don’t happen. Your phone is probably on silent, you don’t have a TV (no Netflix either if you shut off the Wi-Fi) and your roommates aren’t going to come bother you.

You’ll have peace and quiet, you’ll be much more motivated and you’re going to beat procrastination.

So keep these ideas in mind as your test date approaches, as procrastination is a serious affliction that can wipe out your entire college career. No pressure.

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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